Recruitment challenges in the post-pandemic Hospitality Industry

Recruitment challenges in the post-pandemic Hospitality Industry
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic had an enormous impact on the global economy. Hospitality has suffered losses in personnel due to lockdowns implemented in most countries. The summer season of 2022 was the time to reorganise, reschedule and replan human resources.
Marlena Papanicolaou - Business Development Director of Lavoria had a chance to discuss the changes within recruitment processes and the labor market with the HR representatives Mrs.Marilena Orphanou Andreou and Ms.Valentinia Lamprianidi, of one of the leading travel, cruising and hotel groups in the Mediterranean- Louis Hotels Plc co Ltd.

As a member of the Louis Group, Louis Hotels, with over 77 years in the hospitality industry has a leading position in the hotel sector in both Cyprus and Greece with 6 hotels in Corfu, Mykonos, Crete, and Rhodes and 20 hotels & villas in Paphos, Protaras, Limassol, Polis Chrysochous and Nicosia as well as 8 restaurants ‘Akakiko’ and ‘Elliniko’.

“Every year Louis Hotels recruits around 400 seasonal employees. It has been years since the gradual decrease in interest of candidates to enter the hospitality industry has been observed. This year however the number of applicants for the line positions was smaller than ever. This combined with the increased number of needed employees made it close to impossible to fill all the positions.”
Tourism in Cyprus and Greece mostly operates on a seasonal basis. Most hotels and restaurants recruit a large number of seasonal employees.
During the notional lockdown implementation, as a safety measure against the COVID-19 pandemic, many foreign/seasonal employees have left Cyprus and have not returned. It seems that their values have changed and working in their home country plays a big role for them now, in case of any kind of emergency.
As per Mrs. Andreou, those who are interested in employment in this industry are “mostly young people who are eager to gain international experience during the summer break, improve their English, and are willing to enjoy Cyprus/ Greek culture and weather. Those are valid reasons to join our company”. At the same time, she added that “previous experience in a similar position is always considered an advantage but it is not obligatory, Louis Hotels team will be happy to train them. However, at least communicative knowledge of English is a must but the most important is the passion for hospitality. Those individuals who have a hospitality mindset are able to make a real career within our industry.’’
It is a well-known fact that work in hospitality can be extremely challenging but at the same time very rewarding. Mrs. Andreou says that Louis Hotels is “trying to attract candidates providing salaries according to the labor regulation, food, accommodation, refund of the cost of the air tickets, etc. However the most essential is that we give opportunities to the seasonal employees to become permanent. We support the philosophy of promoting our employees. That is how, for example, many of our waiters became restaurants’ supervisors and managers. We provide constant training to our people so they may keep improving their skills. We never stop learning!”
Mrs. Valentina said that the most difficult is to find qualified cooks, lifeguards, and cleaners.
“This year we were granted work permits for non-EU employees so it helped to overcome these difficulties. Asylum seekers are also allowed employment within the hospitality department. This year we have also engaged Turkish Cypriots. Ukrainians seeking asylum in Cyprus are also very welcomed in our teams.”

How do you find suitable candidates?

‘’We cooperate with manpower agents from European countries. We use job platforms and job boards to announce our open positions. Labour Office and union representatives are helpful to find locals. We attend job fairs in Cyprus and Greece, but this wasn't very successful this year. We still have a solid number of returning seasonal employees and the newest source is Lavoria
- an online platform designed for the HoReCa industry that allows employers to post their job offers and access the database with thousands of candidates. Our favorite function on Lavoria is the recommended applicants. There you may find only relevant and qualified profiles of candidates from all Europe-Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ukraine, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Romania ... Using it is easy and fun, especially for our young HR Officers. We are looking forward to the video calls options- this will make the process even more effective. This platform is definitely much more innovative than any other existing on our market at this moment’’.

To recruit with Lavoria’s support and get ready for the season 2023 sign up at Lavoria and find waiters, bartenders, baristas, cooks, receptionists, lifeguards, cleaners, maids, maintenance, spa specialists, and any other related hospitality positions.